According to Washington state law, all auto liability insurance policies purchased in the state are required to include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of at least $10,000. The only exception to this rule is that a consumer may opt-out of PIP coverage by signing a waiver form to decline coverage.
Of course, this might save the consumer a few dollars per month on premium payments, but it’s not really worth the risk of not being covered for medical treatment and other damages in the event of an auto accident.
Wage Loss after an Accident
When injuries from a car accident are serious enough, the victim may require extensive medical treatment and extended bed rest in order to recover. Often enough, the victim also suffers wage loss because their injuries require them to miss time from work.
Policyholders with PIP coverage in their auto insurance policy will be able to recover lost wages by making a wage loss claim to their insurer. The insurance company will likely require documentation from a physician confirming that the victim cannot work due to his or her injuries.
In addition, the victim will need to provide the insurance company with documented evidence from his or her employer that shows how much time was missed at work and the monetary value of the lost wages that the victim suffered. The insurance company will then use these documents to determine the compensation that the victim receives.
Two-Week Waiting Period
Unfortunately, many state laws dictate that a victim may not be reimbursed for wage loss until after a two-week waiting period. After the two weeks has passed, the insured’s PIP coverage will then reimburse the victim for wage loss.
The minimum value for PIP coverage in Washington state is $10,000 unless the policyholder decides to opt out of the coverage. However, consumers can purchase a higher limit of PIP coverage for up to $35,000. The limit of the coverage will typically determine how much wage loss the victim is covered for.
If you have any additional questions about whether your insurance policy will cover wage loss, it is best to consult with a qualified car accident attorney in your area.